We felt it important to add a statement on race in Book of Mormon art. You can find it under the “About” tab on our website. Written by Meagan Anderson (doctoral student at the University of Oklahoma), Emma Belnap (catalog research assistant), and Jennifer Champoux (catalog director), it reads:
The Book of Mormon teaches that the Lord invites “all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female” (2 Nephi 26:33). Many artworks based on the Book of Mormon express this truth visually. There are others, though, that include elements indicative of cultural and racial biases. As a comprehensive database, the Book of Mormon Art Catalog seeks to document all images based on this book of scripture. In doing so, the catalog presents an opportunity to foster reflection, unification, and new paths forward. The Book of Mormon Art Catalog is committed to supporting underrepresented categories of artists and including artworks that feature a diversity of cultures.
As you examine these works of art, we invite you to consider what emotions and questions they evoke. How is race represented, acknowledged, ignored, or embedded within the history of Book of Mormon-related art? How do such representations shape understandings of narratives, peoples, and settings? Why is it important to examine constructions of race in artwork, and what is the role of art in inviting “all to come unto him?” Our hope and expectation is that you will find art in the catalog that will challenge your ideas, prompt you to reconsider familiar stories, and allow you to feel God’s love for all His children.